Brands continue to look for the best agencies to work with but what will that mean for the next year?
It feels like as much as marketing and PR changes it also stays the same. Every year predictions about channels and platforms dying or taking over continue to be proven untrue. So what can you do differently in 2018? What changes might actually matter?
1. Provide Solutions Not Services
No longer will your agency just be able to do what is asked, or wait to be told to solve a problem. Instead, you will need to come to your clients with solutions, campaigns, and ideas that they don’t even know they need yet. You can’t only be identified as dependable and hard working you also have to add interactive and problem solver to your agency’s role.
Brands will be more ready and open for agencies to come with risks, push back and proactive thinking. With so much data available agencies can gain a sense of what might be their client’s next roadblock and their clients will expect them to bring solutions to the table before it becomes a problem. Agencies will no longer be in the service industry but the solution industry.
2. Your Tools Will Matter
I feel like we say this at least once a month but that is because we continue to hear about the inefficient tools agencies are making do with now. Marketing and PR have become way more complicated as data, numbers and analytics guide your decision making, the ways you reach your audience continues to grow and the fact we are always connected, the new cycle is literally 24/7.
2018 will be the year you use tools to help the people on your team become more productive. Ask your team if they like the tools you have now and if they don’t ask them to schedule demos and free trials with the tools they want to use. Let them tell you how to solve the issues they have with their current tools and when they come to you with a solution make sure you listen.
When your team has the right tools in place, it will increase accountability, give clarity around priorities and help your team complete projects efficiently. When your team has the tools they love, you will also benefit. You can gain a better understanding of what your team is capable of and how the right tools can ensure their time and efforts are optimal.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Anyone who is paying attention has formed some type of opinion on AI, artificial intelligence. Whether it’s going to be a good thing or bad, it’s coming, and it’s coming fast. And as a marketing or PR agency, you are no different; you too have to get ready for the potential AI has.
Whether it’s going to help automate essential agency functions such as media monitoring, research, and reporting or something we can’t even imagine, there is one way you can start preparing- look into hiring a Data Scientist. It may seem early but to remain competitive, you will see companies of all shapes and sizes hiring Data Scientists to help understand and integrate the analytics AI will offer. You want to be just as ready if not more than every other industry.
Wrap It Up
What has surprised your agency the most this year?
Do you see the three things listed above being a priority in the months to come?
We have seen a lot of changes across all marketing channels. Notice we didn’t spend time talking about email being out and push notifications being in, or Twitter really really dying and Instagram replacing Snapchat for good- nope! We are pretty sure all our regular channels will be around, but the tools you have, the solutions you provide and how ready you are for new ones (like AI) will determine your success in the next year.